Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thursday Thoughts...

“Emptiness which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities.” 

D.T. Suzuki

He's a wise man Mr Suzuki, and here, he has expressed something that I often worry about, beautifully and wonderfully.

I have a fascination for emptiness, the sense of it, the nature of it and the potential of it.  So often in life, we can be tempted to view things in a deficit manner - that emptiness represents the absence of something, the loss of something. In a way defining it by saying it is the result of something being taken away; that 'it' used to be something before it became empty, and therefore is now lesser as a result

I often think emptiness offers the opportunity for something to happen, to take place, to take root, to begin...

I certainly think emptiness offers the chance to contemplate, to be quiet, to consider and explore. I think it has potential.

This links to my work in the way in which I sometimes fear that my 'less is more' approach may leave me with blank pages.  It's no surprise to anybody who knows me, that my work is spare and uncluttered. I like less, but I am also conscious of the need for the less and its accompanying emptiness to say something, not simply be the absence felt by me leaving things out. I fear things being perceived as lazy or unfinished, when in their spareness they appeal to me.

That's all becoming a bit of a complicated tangle, so perhaps I should simply stop and say "what he said".

21 comments:

  1. spaciousness
    silence
    and
    the poetics of space...

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    1. So true eb - emptiness allows for all of that. Go well.

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  2. Yes!

    I have been battling with the feeling that the simplicity I am moving inexorably towards might leave me with work that looks too easy, or even with nothing at all.

    This has really helped, thank you.

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    1. Hi Helen - it's nice to share and find others face the same dilemmas; i felt quite reinforced by DS's words; it helps when you begin to question yourself a bit too much. I hop you enjoy your ongoing simplification!

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    2. It is a relief to find others facing the same dilemmas! I have linked to your post in my latest; I hope you don't mind.

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  3. I think of emptiness and spareness as a concentration of the essential nature of things.... so its not really nothingness to me, instead its the distillation of everything represented in the purest, simplest way...

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    1. Lovely Ronnie - I like the sense of the concentration of the essence of things...

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  4. aaahhhh - love the quote. Speaks volumes. haven't been able to read what you or others have said about it. Just enjoying its profundity.

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    1. Sometimes its best to just accept the quote and what it offers, without getting too technical or forcing things. Glad you enjoyed!

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  5. This is a quote to contemplate. And, as you say...opportunity, potential - that is what I see in a blank piece of paper, a patch of earth, an empty room. To bring this spare quality to a piece of art, I think, offers the chance for others to not only see how you've concentrated/distilled the essence (to borrow Ronnie's well-chosen words) of your thoughts/idea, but to leave space for theirs as well. I am very drawn to your work; while simplicity may be a common thread, at the same time, it is very rich.

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    1. Thanks Lisa - a lovely contemplation on it, and very kind words about simplicity and richness! I also like the thought that the spareness leaves room for others thoughts/ideas as well - and sometimes I think it just leaves room for us to breathe...

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  6. That is why I like mist and fog - if that makes ANY sense at all - everything emerges from veils of nothing.

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    1. You know what Valerianna - that made perfect sense without even thinking! Exactly - from within the veils of nothing everything emerges. Beautiful.

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  7. Had not really thought about this before Fiona, but any expression describing being or feeling empty does indeed have really negative conotations to it. I think this might take a bit of getting my head around. I shall retire to an empty space to cogitate.

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    1. Enjoy your empty-spaced cogitations Lesley. I think it is good to think about emptiness as a positive and to not be fearful of it, not need to fill it with things...

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  8. Fiona, I think I have a fear of emptiness, so I will be mulling over this quote today as I try to remain cool on this very hot day.

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  9. Oh Carol it's hot isn't it? 36 degrees here which is ridiculous for the mountains...I think emptiness can take a bit of time to sit with, and think about, and I hope your ponderings go well.

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  10. A beautiful quote Fiona - every profound, it certainly brings me home again! Is one to write on my studio floor, and keep me grounded...

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    1. I hope to see it on your floor one day Kim!

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  11. ~fiona...in and around...within the empty spaces you create...they leave the mind to wander...to linger with the thoughts unknown...quiet yet speaking volumes from the soul that created...i am drawn to emptyness and all that it brings...thank you for sharing such a delicate piece...be well and much love~

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    1. I love how there is so much to be seen and valued in emptiness Brandi - the idea of lingering with thoughts unknown - just beautiful!

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I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.